“For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me. (John 12:8)
Matthew, Mark, and John record the above words by Jesus during His last week of life. In John’s version, we learn that Lazarus’ sister Mary had poured a pound of expensive ointment over Jesus’ head and His feet. Judas Iscariot, who was the treasurer for Jesus’ ministry – and also a thief – was upset and asked, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
Jesus intervened on Mary’s behalf, complimented her, and then spoke the above words about the poor.
Without doing some research, it almost seems Jesus’ words about the poor were callous and indifferent, but actually Jesus was referring to a verse in the Torah (first five books of the Bible).
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy, and to the poor, in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)
And by mentioning the first part of the verse in the Torah, Jesus was using a Jewish teaching technique to encourage His listeners to obey the commandment about helping the poor.
My prayer today:
Lord, help American believers to open wide our hands and purses to help our brothers, the needy, and poor in Asia.
Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.
1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.
2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)
3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.
4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.
5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.
6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)